One of the most fun (and delicious) parts of planning your wedding is choosing the menu for your reception. With so many wedding food ideas to choose from, deciding what to serve and how can seem almost daunting. Begin by writing down all your wedding food ideas with your partner. Make a list of all your favorite foods, foods you enjoy but only get to eat on special occasions, dinners you love but hate to cook yourself, basically anything you might enjoy eating to celebrate your big day. Compare your list with your partner and look for commonalities. Next, look for a common theme. Do the foods you chose fall better under a finger food category or garnished on a plate? Are most of your options meats or starches? Rank your chosen menu items from must-have to can-do-without before researching vendor options.
Find a caterer that best fits your needs. With so many wedding catering options in Sydney, do your research on the chefs that specialize or have experience cooking your chosen cuisine. When planning out your wedding food ideas with your caterer, there are a few key ideas to keep in mind.
Caterers who are interested in your business will provide taste meals before you contract with them for a small fee. This will help give you an idea of their skills and what you would like to serve. For an accurate scale of measurement, request the same taste meal from each caterer you sample, or at least the same main entrée option. It will be hard to compare caterers if you try beef from one and chicken from another.
Is your wedding food ideas available?
Make sure your wedding food ideas are available at the time of your wedding. For example, you wouldn’t want to serve a fruit tart for dessert using fruits that are not in season that time of year. Check bulk order capability if you are planning on having a large wedding. If you want to serve a rare type of fish or a high-end cut of meat, make sure your caterer is able to order enough for all your guests (while staying within your budget).
Meeting Guests Needs
While your wedding food ideas should reflect you and your partner’s preferences, you want to make sure that all of your guests are fed. Ensure there are options to meet everyone’s dietary needs and inform guests ahead of time. If you have a lot of vegetarians, vegans, or guests who abstain from certain meats for religious or health reasons, make sure to have an alternative available. This is especially important if you are having a sit down course menu instead of a buffet. Leaving a space on your wedding invitation for guests to note dietary needs is a great idea. Be sure to have wait staff inform guests of any common allergens included in the food being served such as nuts, dairy, or gluten, especially if they are hidden in sauces or baked into desserts.
Appetizers are a great way to feed guests while they mingle, especially if they may be waiting for your arrival while you take wedding photos after the ceremony. Appetizers come in all shapes and sizes, from salads to miniature versions of your favorite dinner foods such as quiches or kabobs. If your list of wedding food ideas includes several appetizers, decide if you want an appetizer buffet (this is still an option even if you’re having a sit down dinner), an appetizer sampler, or salads delivered to each table.
Buffets are a great option for couples who are interested in having multiple entrée options or simply just can’t decide between chicken, beef, pasta, etc. Unless your venue has space for multiple lines of buffet tables, buffets tend to work best for smaller parties so serving lines do not back up and wait staff can keep up with refilling trays.
Since buffets include all the options of a balanced meal, be sure your list of wedding food ideas includes side dishes and vegetable options to complement your entrée. If you are serving beef, consider having a baked potato bar with different toppings as part of your buffet. Mashed potatoes make an excellent buffet option to pair with chicken, as does a rice side dish. Mixed vegetables are a great way to provide a healthy side while including a variety of popular vegetables guests may enjoy. If you are having children at your reception, be sure to include some kid favorites that will be a hit with adults as well (think macaroni and cheese, chicken strips, or baked ziti).
If you opt to serve plated courses, give guests a choice between two or three course menu options. Common plated wedding food ideas to choose from include beef, chicken, fish, pasta, or vegetable dishes. Make sure you work with your caterer and servers to allow guests times to eat without feeling rushed, while have food ready to go, you don’t want your guests rushed through their salad or appetizer, only to be left waiting an hour after their meal for dessert.
Professional Wedding Caterers
No matter what options you choose or how you choose to serve it, be sure to choose Hire a Chef who is happy to work with you every step of the way, and is able to customize your menu in order to meet the needs of you and your guests.
Article written by Emily Rochotte.